Through the eyes of Marley Mills: Flourish4Ever

By Nyah Fernandez, Multimedia Editor

Junior Marley Mills took over the reins of Flourish4ever, an organization originally created by her sister and Archer alumni Siena Mills. In September of 2016, during her sophomore year, Siena Mills first started this organization. According to the Flourish4ever website, their mission statement is to “engage and support communities that have limited access to fresh produce by growing gardens, providing tools to grow food and promoting nutritional knowledge.”

Driven by her love for the environment and passion for helping underprivileged communities, Siena Mills developed and designed Flourish4ever. According to her website, Siena Mills envisions a world where more people eat healthy, nutritious foods and food deserts are replaced with thriving community food gardens.

Her service project consisted of planting gardens around Los Angeles in low-income communities to provide nutrition to everyone.

Marley Mills became interested in this non-profit organization after seeing how much her sister aided communities in-need by supplying nutritious food. Once Siena Mills left California for college, she passed the foundation onto her younger sister. Marley Mills has watched her do “amazing” things with Flourish4ever and she wanted to continue her work.

“Allowing me to help her has caused me to have such a passion for not only eating healthy food but also to recognize how important it is for underserved people and children to receive nutrients, fruits and vegetables,” Marley Mills said. “Having these healthy nutrients in their lives, they can learn better in school or have more energy in their daily lives with having the right food.”

One of the advantages out of many that Marley Mills said has seen is being able to provide a healthy lifestyle to people who live in food deserts.

“The main aspect of our mission of the law is to go in and allow them to have that option that they can eat healthy,” Marley Mills said. “For example, if there is a grocery store in the neighborhood, it’s so expensive that they’re not able to afford it because the prices are so high.”

People in lower-income neighborhoods, she says, don’t have enough money to buy healthy meals, so they eat at fast food restaurants since it’s the only thing they can afford and it’s so close by.

“They end up going to a McDonald’s or someplace that is not going to give them the nutrients that healthy food will give them,” Marley Mills said. “For us, it’s just about giving them that option to eat healthily and live a healthier lifestyle.”

Marley Mills said that it was “extremely amazing” that they are able to move to different locations around Los Angeles to provide communities with healthy vegetables and nutrients.

“We just planted a new garden two weeks ago at a — to feel the community of the church and to see how excited they were to get these vegetables, makes me so happy,” Marley Mills said.

Marley Mills has also seen how many places around Los Angeles have expanded with the help of Flourish4ever garden spaces.

“For years we had a garden at Kedren, which is a Community Health Center— to see how the community uses it makes me so happy to see that they are benefiting from it,” Marley Mills said. “We get to see how happy people are when they are able to eat healthier and to provide them a better headspace.”

 

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  • Marley Mills took a picture to show the progress that had been made on her plants. In this picture is lettuce, Marley Mills picks the lettuce once it is ripe to provide to the community.

    Photo credit: Marley Mills

  • Marley Mills is checking the progress of the lettuce she grew in one of her Los Angeles gardens in this picture.

    Photo credit: Marley Mills

  • After planting, Marley Mills had the opportunity to come back to the garden to see the growth made, which she said she felt “excited” about.

    Photo credit: Marley Mills

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